Kim Weeks - Newbury, MA Real Estate, Newburyport, MA Real Estate, West Newbury, MA Real Estate


Photo by Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

It’s easy for a home to get out of hand with all the things that come through the door every week. Here are a few tips for keeping up with the never-ending clutter that enters your home.

Create a Shoe Station

Set up a location at each entry door for family members and guests to remove shoes and boots. Keeping dirt and debris at the entry and not trekked into the house reduces how often you must clean. It also keeps allergens, toxins and grime off your carpet and away from your family.

Organize the Paper

While newspapers are a thing of the past for most households, junk-mail, circulars and bills seem to keep coming. First, unsubscribe from any magazines and catalogs that you don’t want or use. Then, set up a table or shelf near the door to sort your mail. Toss the circulars and shred the junk mail before it gets further into the room. Sign up for electronic versions of your bills to reduce those as well.

Nix Junk Drawers

Everyone has at least one, and many folks have one in every room … it’s those pesky drawers, baskets or bins that fill up with pens, buttons, receipts, tape, scissors, batteries and random indeterminate objects you think might be important. They take up space but don’t contribute to organization. Start with the smallest one. Remove any receipts and take a picture of them with your phone. Then toss the receipt. If it’s important, you have the details and won’t worry if the thermal paper fades to an unreadable blur. 

Next, test all the pens and pencils. If they’re broken or inkless, toss them. Find a small box to store all the batteries in one place. As you move from room to room, collect the batteries and organize them in the box to store on a shelf. Electronic items such as charger cords and blocks belong in another box.

These three simple hacks go a long way toward helping you keep your home in order. That way, when it comes time to sell, you’re ready for the surprise visit from a buyer or the call from your agent when you’re far from home. Ask your real estate professional about other ideas to keep your home show-ready.


When you have allergies, there’s nothing worse than being around your triggers. Most people with allergies know exactly what causes symptoms for them. If you know what the best and worst types of flowers are for people with allergies, you’ll have a better idea of what you can plant in your garden. 


Worst Flowers For Allergies


Unfortunately, most plants in the daisy family aren’t very good for people with allergies. Flowers in this family include asters, dahlias, daisies, Gerber daisies, chamomile, chrysanthemums, and sunflowers. Not every breed of every type of flower falls into the “bad for your nose” category. There are some hybrids available that aren’t as harsh for people with allergies. Most of these can even be pollen-free. Look for plants that are listed as “hypoallergenic.” These hold that title because they either have no pollen, or the pollen is just too heavy to be carried by the wind.


Goldenrod And Ragweed


You have probably heard a lot about ragweed getting a bad reputation since its pollen is carried by the wind. Goldenrod may not be as bad, yet it often is categorized in the same way. These plants are great to attract bees and other pollinating insects, but they’re terrible if you’re an allergy sufferer. 


Baby’s Breath


This type of flower is often seen in floral arrangements and bouquets. Although the flowers are small, they can bring on a large amount of pollen. The double flowered variety is a hybrid and is a better choice for allergy sufferers. This allows the tiny flower to have a lower level of pollen.        


Better Choices For Allergy Sufferers


The good news is that there are many different types of flowers that won’t cause you grief. Many of the “safe” plants are those that are used for foliage. These would include Hosta, cactus, and dusty millers. 


More choices for allergy sufferers who want color: 


  • Azaleas
  •  Begonias
  • Bougainville
  • Clematis
  • Columbine
  • Geranium
  • Hydrangea
  • Hibiscus
  • Iris
  • Lily
  • Orchid
  • Pansy
  • Roses
  • Zinnia  


You can keep beautiful plants throughout your home and garden even when you suffer from the worst allergies. You don’t need to sacrifice color in the process. Keep in mind that you want to avoid flowers with extremely potent scents. Even with the absence of pollen, allergies can still be aggravated by these smells. The sap from these flowers may even cause mild to moderate skin irritation, so it’s best to stay away from these varieties of flowers. 


Tree Pollen


Tree pollen generally needs to be carried via the wind from male trees to female tree flowers. So, it‘s important to find the right types of trees to plant in your yard as well when you have allergies. You want the pollen to land in the right flowers in order to pollinate, not in your nose.


If budgeting isn’t your thing, you’ll be glad to discover that it’s quite simple. There’s a way to categorize your spending and save money easily. If you learn the rule, it will become so automatic that you won’t even think about it. If you’re saving money for a home, this practice will be essential. Break your budget down into three categories: 


  • Living expenses
  • Financial goals
  • Personal spending


Half of your budget should go towards living expenses. This number includes all of the essentials like rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, commute costs, and insurances. 


20 percent of your income should go towards other financial goals like savings, investments, or paying down debt. Credit card bills, student loans, and other bills would fall under this category. This category is also where you’d save for your down payment, closing costs, and other expenses. This percentage can be adjustable depending on how much debt you have or how much you need to save for retirement. 


The remaining 30 percent of your income can go towards personal spending. This category includes everything that you use your money for but isn’t a necessity. This percentage is also flexible. If your lifestyle doesn’t require you to use all 30 percent each month, you can indeed save more money.


A Clear Plan 


These categories simplify your budget. Even if you make some adjustments to the numbers, the outline truly makes budgeting easy even for the most scatterbrained among us. It allows you to see where your money goes clearly. It also works no matter what kind of living situation you have.


The great thing about this budgeting plan is that you have some future needs built into it. Many times, when we budget, we think of our immediate needs and our shorter term goals. Saving for any occasion can never happen too early. You are able to not only focus on your current goals and the future.   



Steps


First, determine your monthly income. This number is how much money you take home after taxes. From here, you’ll be able to split your money into categories by percentages. If your income fluctuates frequently, you’ll need to take an average of your monthly income to determine your numbers. 


Next, you should take a look at your spending habits. These include everything from your morning latte to your monthly rent payment. From here you can make adjustments. Perhaps you need to look for a less expensive apartment. Maybe you need to cut down your weekly pizza to a bi-monthly purchase. Whatever you see in your finances, a simple percentage rule gives you the tools you need to become a saver and be well on your way to the purchase of your first home.     



Photo by PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay

You’ve finally decided to sell your home and now you want the REALTOR® to show you the money! While that sounds like it can happen at the snap of a finger, there are a few things to consider. Are you selling for a profit or is your goal to make the biggest profit you can? If it’s the latter, here are a few things you can do:

  • Step onto the Stage

Staging your home can bring in big bucks. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 77% of REALTORS® agree that buyers who can visualize a staged property as their future home makes a difference.

  • Research Your Ideal Client

Who are you selling to? Are your buyers people who have children and want a nice neighborhood? Are they wanting a move-in ready home? Unless they are buying solely for the neighborhood, the condition of the home has a lot to do with their decision.

  • Create a Digital Showing

Let’s face it – social media and digital marketing are one of the best ways to connect with potential buyers. Adding a 3D element where they can “walk through” will not only create additional interest, but widens the number of people that may add your property to their list. An additional plus would be if you could upload the floor plans, any warranty and maintenance records to show how well you took care of the home.

  • Appeal to the Curb

If you think buyers aren’t looking at the exterior of the home, think again. They want to see the home in its best light – that means pressure cleaning or painting the exterior, washing the windows, repairing any cracks in the driveway and investing in landscaping.

  • Invest in Upgrades

Upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms truly make your home stand out. New appliances, eat-in arrangements and lighting have a lasting effect. Have some water or something to drink in the refrigerator and make sure it’s clean. Buyers do peek. If you can afford new, inexpensive flooring that speaks to the environment, that will be a positive in your favor.

  • Have a Neutral Palette

Painting the walls in a neutral color lightens up the space and allows potential buyers to consider what their furniture would look like in the space

  • Stay Clutter-Free

The more you can get rid of so buyers can see an actual representation of how much space they will have the better. Your staging should demonstrate different ways the spaces can be utilized, giving them a wealth of ideas.

  • Other This & That

Installing ceiling fans, smart home tech and other simple touches can instantly put your home at the top of the list.

These are just a few ways your home can help you get top dollar for your home to move forward with a smile on your face. For more tips on getting your home ready to sell for top dollar, work with your REALTOR® for awesome results.


If you recently bought or sold a house, it may be only a matter of time before you need to move. Lucky for you, many moving companies are available to help you transport your personal belongings from one destination to the next.

What differentiates a good moving company from a great one? Here are three tips to ensure you can find the perfect company to help you with your upcoming move.

1. Get Multiple Quotes

When it comes to finding a moving company, there is no reason to break your budget. Fortunately, if you shop around, you can select a high-quality moving company that won't force you to overspend.

Reach out to a wide range of moving companies in your city or town. That way, you can receive multiple quotes.

Also, it is important to remember that the lowest price doesn't always guarantee the best service, particularly when it comes to moving companies. And even though price should be a consideration as you evaluate moving companies, it is essential to consider other factors.

The more you research that you perform into all of the moving companies that are available, the better off you will be. With plenty of research in hand, you should have no trouble choosing an affordable moving company that will exceed your expectations.

2. Look at a Moving Company's Experience

No two moving companies are identical, and in most cases, you can enjoy many benefits if you choose a proven moving company over an inexperienced one.

Ultimately, a proven moving company will have sufficient staff on hand to help you transport your belongings to your new address. This company likely employs customer service professionals who are happy to respond to any concerns or questions prior to moving day too.

A proven moving company also can help you alleviate stress as you prep for moving day. This company will go the extra mile to support you in any way possible, and by doing so, ensure you can receive comprehensive assistance when moving day arrives.

3. Ask for Client Referrals

If you're on the fence about a moving company, it certainly won't hurt to ask this business for client referrals.

In many cases, client referrals are difference-makers, particularly if you're struggling to decide between two moving companies.

A moving company should be able to provide you with client referrals at your request. Then, you can reach out to past clients to learn about their experiences with a particular moving company.

Client referrals offer excellent resources as you search for the ideal moving company. In fact, client referrals can provide you with moving company insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Lastly, don't hesitate to reach out to your real estate agent for extra help. This housing market professional may be able to put you in touch with a variety of moving companies that can help you relocate your belongings.

Take the guesswork out of selecting a moving company – use the aforementioned tips, and you can find the ideal moving company based on your personal needs and finances.




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